Friday, June 26, 2009

Beyond Imagination!

Well, we were so lucky to get into Wimbledon on Tuesday with tickets, but we decided that we would just go ahead and get in “THE QUEUE” on Wednesday. Since Dad/Rick just breezed through the line on Monday and Andy Murray was playing on Tuesday, which we were sure was the reason for the mongolio line, we just decided to have “an experience”. Which was very brave of Dad/Rick as his most un-favorite things in this world is crowds and definitely the most abhorred thing of all is….standing in lines! 

We walked,and walked and walked and walked (like pioneers) and just couldn’t find the end of the line no matter how long we went. More and more aghast at what we had gotten ourselves into, it was now too late to turn back!  Even the British who love queues were in absolute unbelief that we just couldn’t find the end!  Finally we got to an enormous football field where there were several rows about the length of a football field of people, reading newspapers and getting ready to receive their “Queue Cards”!


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As you can see, some are in line and some are still going to the back of the line.  By the time we actually got to the end of the line (really truly half an hour of walking) we knew that we were in the MOTHER OF ALL LINES! 

I was giggling uncontrollably and Dad was rolling his eyes uncontrollably when they finally handed us our coveted “Queue Card” which was our only passport to the prestigious but a bit snooty All England Lawn Club. 

Note the number on our very formal Queue Card. This was the real number that they had handed out for the evening.  Plus there were at least 2000 people behind us!

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Dad/Rick is worried that his kids are going to lose faith in what they all know has his firm resolve never to stand in a line. But I say that it was worth it just for the experience! 

You wouldn’t believe the tents lined up where people sleep to be in line for grounds passes at 6 a.m. the next morning.  FUN!

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We just can’t help but chuckle about the British rules!  Rules and following the rules is one of the most important parts of the British etiquette! Here are the list of rules for Queuing, posted about every 50 feet along our long path as we marched along with newly lain metal sidewalks over the grass and through the fields to the turn styles

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I especially like the bit there at the end that says REMEMBER!!! No barbecues or fires are allowed in the queue!

It was worth it just for the experience! It only took an hour to get back to the gate where we gave them our fourteen pounds to enter the hallowed ground, which as you can imagine was a little bit crowded! It was 7 o’clock and we still have two more hours of fun tennis.

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His the disgrundled but happy kid!

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Like the royal guards at Buckingham Palace waiting for the queen to immerge , these were the Royal Air Force and Army guards waiting for the players to immerge!

Here is the new one hundred million dollar roof over center court that is debuting this year. I must admit that I took this picture while watching TV because we didn’t have a helicopter, but it’s pretty amazing!  They did close it partially one day because it was too sunny for the royalty. I’m sure they’re actually hoping for rain this year so they can try it out!

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I guess they spent all their money on the roof, because they still have little guys manually changing the scores on the outside courts!  We saw a great doubles match which they finally called because it was 9:30 and getting dark.

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This is where Dad and I were sitting that year when we looked over and nearly fell out of our seats to see Shawni and Dave and Max in his stroller walking over by Murray Mound aka Henman Hill (below) where thousands watched the matches on a giant screen TV since they have grounds passes only!

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Besides people, the whole place was bulging with strawberries and cream and purple petunias!

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That’s an experience we won’t soon forget, including the fun ride to and from the train station on a double-decker bus that maneuvered it’s way through tiny streets and 90 degree turns that just weren’t possible!  This was a comparatively ENORMOUS street!

Ah Wimbledon!

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